Joker: Folie à Deux director Todd Phillips ‘kept going back to’ Lady Gaga when writing the script

Lady Gaga plays Harley Quinn. (Warner Bros Pictures)

Lady Gaga features as Harley Quinn in the upcoming movie, Joker: Folie à Deux — and it appears that the role might have been written specifically for the singer-come-actor.

The first full-length trailer for the sequel to the 2019 film was released on 10 April, and gave fans their first look at the Applause hitmaker’s rendition of the comic book character. 

The “musical thriller” stars Joaquin Phoenix as the titular villain once again, while the film introduces his love interest, the equally psychotic Dr Harleen Quinzel; more commonly known as Harley Quinn

Of course, we all know Lady Gaga’s character is the star of the show. And the film’s director Todd Phillips is also well aware of her on-screen aura, having worked with her in A Star Is Born. Of the upcoming film, he explained he “kept going back to” the singer when writing the script.

He recently told Entertainment Weekly: “We cast Gaga because she’s magic. I was a producer on A Star Is Born… That was the first time I really met her and got to watch her work. As we were writing this script, Scott [Silver], who I wrote it with, kept going back to her.”

The trailer hints at the movie’s focus being on the bond between Harley Quinn and the Joker, exploring the complexities of their relationship and the crimes in which they commit. There is also a depiction of a musical-type show within the film, though this isn’t clear if it’s just a figment of their imagination, or not.

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Phillips added that the musical scenes are an “essential element” of the film. “We never really talked about it like that, but I like to say it’s a film where music is an essential element. To me, that doesn’t veer too far from the first film,” he told the outlet. 

“Arthur [Fleck]’s (Joker) weird and aloof and all these things, but he has music in him. He has a grace to him. That informed a lot of the dancing in the first film… it didn’t feel like that big of a step here. It’s different, but I think it’ll make sense when you see it.”

Joker: Folie à Deux will be released on 4 October 2024.